A total of 4,285,323 people have registered to vote in the Scottish Independence Referendum on Thursday 18 September, making it the largest electorate ever in Scotland for an election or referendum.

The total electorate figure for the whole of Scotland includes 789,024 people who have applied for a postal vote – the largest volume of registration for postal votes ever in Scotland.

The increase in the electorate reflects the scale of interest in the referendum.

With one week to go until polling day, the Chief Counting Officer (CCO) for the Scottish Independence Referendum is encouraging voters to think carefully and plan ahead to make sure their vote is counted.

Mary Pitcaithly said:

“I want everyone’s vote to count, whether they are voting by post or in person at a polling place on 18 September. It’s vital that everyone takes great care when completing their ballot paper. Mistakes mean that a ballot paper may not be counted.

 

“The safest way to ensure your vote counts is to only put one ‘X’ in the box beside the answer you want to choose. Postal voters should ensure they complete their date of birth and signature correctly on the postal voting statement. They have to match the information held on file otherwise we cannot include the ballot paper in the count.

 

“People who are voting at a polling place should think about what time they are going to vote. Polling places are busiest during the early morning and in the evening as people vote on their way to and from work. If you are able to avoid these times, I would encourage you to do so to ensure everyone can vote without having to queue for any length of time.”

The CCO and Counting Officers at Scotland’s 32 local authorities have put measures in place to reduce the risk of queuing at polling stations. Across Scotland, there are 2,608 polling places with a total of 5,579 polling stations. In most areas, a maximum of 800 electors have been allocated to each polling station. In addition, many polling places will allocate additional staff to assist during busy times.

Voters can obtain more information about the referendum and how to vote at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk

ENDS

Issued by Golley Slater on behalf of the Chief Counting Officer for the Scottish Independence Referendum. For further information, please contact Angela Hughes or Christina Kelly – 0141 548 8028 / 0141 548 8222 / 0131 220 8787

Angela Hughes m: 07970 184 198 / ahughes@golleyslater.co.uk

Christina Kelly m: 07875 581 955 / ckelly@golleyslater.co.uk

NOTES TO EDITORS

Total polling list broken down by local authority:
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­   The number of electors registered as at 1 August 2014 was 4,166,683

­   The number of electors registered as at 10 March 2014 was 4,120,494

Please note, the two numbers do not represent a like for like comparison.  The 10 March 2014 figure, which is the result of the annual canvass, includes most 16 and 17 years olds.  Under 18s who were not included in the 10 March figure were placed on the confidential young voters registers that were in preparation at that time.  The 1 August figure includes every elector including those on the confidential young voters registers who will be 16 or over on the 18 September 2014 and therefore entitled to vote in the referendum.

  • Previous postal vote figures:

­   The number of electors who had a postal vote as at 15 August 2014 was 680,235

­   The number of electors who had a postal vote as at 10 March 2014 was 570,587

  • It is not possible to provide a figure for new registrations because electors are added and removed from the register regularly for a number of reasons, such as a change of address or failure to respond to the annual canvass. By law, failure to return a form for two consecutive years results in names being removed from the electoral register.
  • It is not possible to provide a figure for the number of young voters. EROs have published polling lists, which are a combination of the local government register and the confidential register of young voters. The polling list does not bear dates of birth.